Pitch Dark Anarchy (Paperback)
Triquarterly, 9780810152274, 96pp.
Publication Date: February 28, 2013
Pitch Dark Anarchy investigates the danger of one single narrative with multilayered poems that challenge concepts of beauty and image, race and identity, as well as the construction of skin color. Through African American memory and moments in literature, the poems seek to disrupt and dismantle foundations that create erasures and echoes of the unremembered. Pitch Dark Anarchy uses the slave revolt of the Amistad as a starting point, a metaphor for "opposition" and "against." These themes run through the very core for the book while drawing on inventive and playful language. The poems bring to life human experiences and conditions created by an "elite" society. In these poems, locations and landscapes are always shifting, proving that our shared experiences can be interchangeable. At the very core of Pitch Dark Anarchy is a seven-part poem based on the artist Margret Bowland’s "Another Thorny Crown Series," which are paintings of an African American girl in white face.
Through innovative formal and visual techniques, such as fractured syntax and typographical disruption, Horton evokes the disorienting experiences of urban life, while also calling into question the complicity of language in the oppressive structures he anatomizes.
About the Author
Randall Horton is an assistant professor of English at the University of New Haven in Connecticut and the author of The Definition of Place (2006) and The Lingua Franca of Ninth Street (2009). He is the recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, the Bea González Poetry Award, and a National Endowment of the Arts Literature Fellowship. His creative and critical work has appeared in the print journals Callaloo, Sou’wester, Caduceus, and New Haven Review and in the online journal The Offending Adam. Randall is a fellow of Cave Canem and a member of the Affrilachian Poets, two organizations that support African American poetry; and a member of the Symphony: The House That Etheridge Built, a reading collective named for the poet Etheridge Knight. An excerpt from Horton’s memoir, Roxbury, is newly released as a chapbook.